FAO Home>Fisheries & Aquaculture
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger
  1. Profile
    1. Basic legislation
    2. Legal definition
    3. Guidelines and codes of conduct
    4. International arrangements
  2. Planning
    1. Authorization system
    2. Access to land and water
    3. EIA
  3. Operation
    1. Water and wastewater
    2. Fish movement
    3. Disease control
    4. Drugs
    5. Feed
  4. Food safety
    1. Miscellaneous
      1. References
        1. Legislation
        2. Related resources
      2. Related links
        Basic legislation
        The Fisheries Act (1974) is the country's major piece of legislation governing the fisheries sector. However, the Act does not contain any substantive provisions relating to aquaculture. The Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives is granted a general power to regulate and control fish culture and fish farming (section 21.2(k)), but this power has not been exercised.

        In 1998, a new draft Fisheries Act was prepared, including draft Fisheries (Aquaculture) Regulations  . However, at present the Act and the Regulations are still awaiting presentation to the Zambian Parliament, for passage into law  . The draft legislation is comprehensive and represents the state of the art in legislation to encourage the development of a sustainable aquaculture industry. It describes the licence procedure to engage in and set up an aquaculture facility and address issues such as the protection of the aquatic environment, fish movement and fish disease, environmental impact assessments and genetically modified organisms. The draft legislation also provides for a definition of aquaculture, the preparation of an aquaculture development plan, the declaration of aquaculture development areas and the establishment of a Technical Aquaculture Committee.
        Legal definition
        There is no legal definition of aquaculture.
        Guidelines and codes of conduct
        There are no guidelines/codes of conduct on aquaculture.
        International arrangements
        Zambia is a member of:
        • World Trade Organization (WTO).
        • Southern African Development Community (SADC).
        • Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
        Zambia is a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It has not signed or ratified the Biosafety Protocol. Zambia is also a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
        Authorization system
        At present, Zambia does not have an authorization system in place. An environmental impact assessment may be required before setting up an aquaculture operation (see below).
        Access to land and water
        Land use planning and development control (including land covered by water) is regulated in the Town and Country Planning Act (1961)  . Planning permission is required for the development or subdivision of land in areas for which a development plan exists or in other areas specified by the Minister. The second Schedule to the Act sets out the matters for which provision can be made in a development plan, including the reservation of areas for agriculture, horticulture and forestry. The Act does not refer to the use of land specifically for aquaculture purposes.

        The Lands Act (1995, as amended in 1996) recognizes two forms of land tenure: leasehold (practised on state land) and customary tenure (in customary areas). Generally, the President has the power to alienate land vested in him to any Zambian.

        The Water Act (1949, consolidated text of 1996, as amended last in 1994) classifies different water uses as primary, secondary or tertiary, with water for irrigation and for “pisciculture” (fish breeding) being classified as a secondary use. The use, diversion and apportionment of all water should be in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Act; provided that a landowner has the right to take free of charge such private water occurring on his land as he may need for his own primary, secondary or tertiary use. Any person who wishes to impound and store or divert water from a public stream for primary, secondary or tertiary use must apply for permission to the Water Board. Any land owner who demonstrates a need for water for a secondary use may claim another's surplus on the eventual payment of a reasonable compensation for any capital expense incurred or work performed by the deprived party in making the claimed water available.
        The Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act (1990) provides for the protection of the environment and the control of pollution, establishes the Environmental Council and describes its functions and powers. The Environmental Protection and Pollution Control (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (1997), adopted under the Act, regulate the requirements for compulsory project briefs and EIAs. A project brief is a report on preliminary conditions of possible impacts of a project on the environment and constitutes the first phase of the EIA process. A project brief is required for all projects listed in the First Schedule to the Regulations, including fish farms with a production of 100 tonnes or more per year. A project brief is also required for the introduction of alien species of flora and fauna into the local ecosystem. If the Environmental Council determines that a project is likely to have a significant impact on the environment, it may require the preparation of an EIA. In addition, EIAs are obligatory for all projects specified in the Second Schedule, including all projects located in or near environmental sensitive areas such as areas supporting populations of rare and endangered species or major water catchment areas. Any EIA should include the following contents:
        • Description of the project.
        • Description of the proposed site and reasons for rejecting alternatives.
        • Brief description of the site and the surrounding environment specifying any information necessary to identify and assess the environmental effects of the project.
        • Description of raw material inputs and their potential environmental effects.
        • Description of technology and processes to be used.
        • Description of products and by-products.
        • Environmental effects of the project, including the direct, indirect, cumulative, short-term and long-term effects.
        • Socio-economic impacts of the project.
        • Impact management plan.
        • Indication whether the environment of any neighbouring state will be affected.
        Water and wastewater
        The Water Act generally prohibits the pollution of any public water in order to protect human, animal and plant health. According to the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act, the Environmental Council establishes - inter alia - water quality and pollution control standards and determines the conditions for the discharge of effluents into the aquatic environment. According to the Water Pollution Control (Effluent and Waste Water) Regulations (1993)  , established under the Act, any owner or operator of any industry or trade discharging effluent into the aquatic environment should apply for a licence to the Environmental Inspectorate, established under the Act. The application should contain information relating to the quality and quantity of effluent and its treatment. The licence to be issued should conform to the conditions and standards for chemical and physical parameters contained in the table of standards for effluent and waste water in the Third Schedule to the Regulations. The licence is valid for 36 months and may be renewed for a similar period. The Inspectorate also deals with the application and issuance of licences to withdraw water from a water course or other source for the treatment of effluent.
        Fish movement
        The Fisheries Act prohibits the introduction of any species of fish or the importation of any live fish without the written permission of the Minister.
        Disease control
        There are no specific provisions on fish disease control.
        The Pesticides and Toxic Substances Regulations (1994)  , adopted under the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act, generally require any person intending to manufacture, import, export, improve or process a new pesticide or toxic substance to apply for registration with the Environmental Council.
        There are no specific provisions on the use of fish feed.
        Food safety
        There are no specific provisions on food safety.
        Aquaculture investment 
        The Zambia Investment Centre administers the Investment Law (1993, as amended)   and provides a one-stop support facility to investors. Any person investing in a business should apply for an Investment Certificate. The Procedures and Guidelines for Issue of an Investment Certificate   specify the requirements to be met, and include submission of a project brief and/or an EIA. However, there is no specific reference to investment in the aquaculture sector.
        Related resources

        faolexSearch parameters: country=ZMB, Keywords=aquaculture;mariculture
        Records Returned: 6
        Title of textDate of textConsolidated dateEntry into forceCountries
        Fisheries Regulations, 2012 (S.I. No. 24 of 2012).2012-03-19Zambia

        Fisheries Act, 2011 (No. 22 of 2011).2011-04-18Zambia

        Sixth National Development Plan 2011-2015.2011-012011-2015.Zambia

        National Climate Change Response Strategy.2010-12-012010 – 2030.Zambia

        Protocol on Fisheries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).2001-08-14This Protocol shall enter into force thirty (30) days after the deposit of the instruments of ratification by two-thirds of the Member States.Angola; Botswana; Congo, Dem. Rep. of; Lesotho; Malawi; Mauritius; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; Seychelles; Swaziland; Tanzania, Un. Rep. of; Zambia; Zimbabwe

        National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) 2014-2018.2013-052014-2018Zambia

        Related links
        Country profiles: Zambia
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